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Joined: 2003/11/30
Posts: 78

 Chambers: Notes on Isiah 53

Dear friends,
This is too rich and too profound for me [i]not[/i] to share it with you. Please, take the time to read it, meditate upon it, and let it stir you in the depths of your hearts. I pray it will be a blessing.


Ps. Of course, you do well to begin by reading the chapter in your Bible first... :-)


[b]Our Implicit Difference with God[/b]
Isaiah 53

[i]Surely He . . . : yet we. . . . Isaiah 53:4[/i]

Every heart, saintly or unsaintly, differs from God on the subject of pain. It is an implicit difference, i.e., better felt than expressed. We argue, “Why should there be pain?” “Things have no business to be like this; this is what God means. . . .” Whenever pain is mentioned as being God’s plan, the innate heart of man rebels—“Surely God does not mean that we are only perfected through suffering?”

1. Vicarious Inspiration

The 53rd chapter of Isaiah stands alone as a great burst of amazing prophecy. The greatest spiritual exposition of the Lord Jesus Christ is not in the New Testament; it is in this chapter, given by a man who lived hundreds of years before Christ was born. If you want to know the characterisation of the Person of Christ you will find it here, sketched by His Father, through the mouth of Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah, more even than the Apostle Paul, interprets the Person of Christ; his is the power of seeing not with the outward eye, but with the inward vision of the spirit. In these latter chapters an alteration comes over Isaiah’s picturing of the Servant of Jehovah; it is no longer a personification, but a Person; the great truth dawns on the prophet that it is God Himself in His Servant who is the vicarious Sufferer. It was no mighty monarch who was to come, no great conqueror, but One in the guise of a sufferer. Vicarious suffering is always voluntary.

2. Vicious Indifference
[i]He is despised and rejected of men. (Isaiah 53:3)[/i]

When Our Lord came on this earth how many discerned Him? “We needs must love the Highest when we see it”; but the highest is measured by our inner disposition, and when the Son of God, who was The Highest, appeared, men did not love Him; in fact, He was unheeded, despised and rejected. He could easily be unheeded because He did not resent it; He could be treated like the earth under our feet. If we belong to His crowd we shall be despised. Watch how people treat you who don’t love Him.

“He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” This is God’s picture of how His Servant will appear, not sometimes, but at all times. We will preach what the apostle Paul never preached; we will preach an exalted Christ: Paul said, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Modern holiness teachers ignore God’s method and present what is called the glory side; we have to present the side represented by the Cross. These are all characteristics of this implicit difference; we say, “Surely God does not mean we have to present a despised and neglected and crucified Jesus?” He does. The Spirit of God presents the glorified, exalted Jesus; but the only way that presentation can be made is through the Cross. “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me,” said Jesus; He is exalted on the Cross. Where we blunder is in trying to explain the Cross doctrinally while we refuse to do what Jesus told us to do, lift Him up.

We want to present our understanding of how God worked in our own experience, consequently we confuse people. Present Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will do in them what He has done in you. The preaching of the Cross will produce its miraculous result in lives, not what we preach about the Cross (see 1 Corinthians 1:21).

When the Bible speaks of the Death of Jesus it is not as the crucifixion of a Nazarene Carpenter, but as the point in history which reveals the nature of God—that He is not sitting on the remote circle of the world in omnipotent indifference, but that He is right at the very heart of things. The symbol for God is not a circle, but a cross, symbolic of supreme suffering and distress.

3. Voluntary Identification
[i]Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)[/i]

The coming of God is always on the line where the devil and sin have ranged themselves—“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” The majority of people who have never been touched by affliction see Jesus Christ’s death as a thing beside the mark; but when a man is convicted of sin, then for the first time he begins to see something else—“At last I see; I thought He was smitten of God; but now I see He was wounded for my transgressions. He was bruised for my iniquities: the chastisement of my peace was upon Him.” The hand of God was on Him; the reason for His suffering was sin; but it was our sin, our transgression. “Surely He hath borne our griefs”: He bore for all. We cannot bear for anyone, it is impossible. Jesus Christ came weighted with the message of God, but that was not what weighed Him down; the thing that weighed Him down was sin. The only thing that made God’s shoulders stoop was sin. He made His own Son to be sin; and the Son “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

Jesus Christ’s suffering was unique: He knew why He suffered. The sufferings of Jesus are God’s inscrutable plan for the carrying out of His Redemptive purpose—“Ought not Christ to have suffered . . . ?” There was nothing of the morbid fanatic about Our Lord: He looked beyond the travail to the joy set before Him, consequently He “endured the cross, despising the shame.”
Has the Christian anything like this to go through? Peter talks about suffering when you don’t deserve it.

“But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” No man can do that unless the Son of God is born in him. Have you ever accepted an undeserved stripe? Suffering unjustly will either produce sympathy with Satan or similarity to Christ. Sympathy with Satan arises from self-pity—“Why should I have to go through this?’

What do we know about filling up “that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ”? Have we ever taken on our shoulders for one second the consequence of the insight the Holy Spirit gives into the corruption of men and women as they are? or is the recoil so desperately offensive that we turn away from it? Insight is an additional burden God places on us. Be careful not to turn your insight into supercilious criticism. Immediately you become spiritual your body becomes the burden-bearer for sins you never committed, so do your nerves. This is the dispensation of the humiliation of the saints; the more you walk in the light with God the more humiliating is your position on earth. It is true God does keep His saints in health, but remember what He does it for, that they may be crushed with burdens. If you take holiness or health as an exhibition of what God has done for you, you will get dry rot in your soul, but pour it out like water on the ground, spend right out to the last drop, and you will find the supply is always there. You can’t reserve anything if you are a servant of Jesus Christ. It is the finest saints who are most easily utilised. Every servant of God suffers in his stand for God because of the upheaval that the stand makes in the natural order. The natural has to be sacrificed, that is what it was made for, in order to make it spiritual.

Forgiveness of sin is the great revelation of God, all the rest is slight. We have belittled the meaning of forgiveness of sin by making it mean the forgiveness of offences. The only way God can forgive sin is because His Servant “poured out His soul unto death.” Have I ever realised that the only way I am forgiven is by the panging depth of suffering God’s Servant went through? The consciousness of what sin is comes long after the redemptive processes have been at work. The man who comes to for God for the first time convicted of sins knows nothing about sin; it is the ripest saint who knows what sin is. Our salvation is the outcome of what it cost the Son of God. “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.”

/Oswald Chambers

Rikard Eriksson

 2004/10/23 6:44Profile

Joined: 2004/8/3
Posts: 633

 Re: Chambers: Notes on Isiah 53

Riki, this is so awesome. Where did you get it? I've looked for other writings by Oswald Chambers other than My Utmost, but didn't find any.

It is true God does keep His saints in health, but remember what He does it for, that they may be crushed with burdens. If you take holiness or health as an exhibition of what God has done for you, you will get dry rot in your soul, but pour it out like water on the ground, spend right out to the last drop, and you will find the supply is always there. You can’t reserve anything if you are a servant of Jesus Christ.

You may not think this goes together, but I had the strangest dream last nite. I dreampt that there was a guy loading a gun to kill someone. Me and another girl were seeing him in secret. We were so scared. We didn't know what to do. We finally decided to run over to him to try and stop him somehow. When we did, he looked at the girl who was with me and said, "If you will marry me, I will never kill anyone." She immediately was in anguish. She really didn't want to marry a guy like this, but she didn't want him to kill someone. Somehow, we knew that he had meant what he said. It was almost like the girl and I knew that she was going to have to lay her life down for this man to be changed.

After I woke up, I just lay there thinking of the implications of the dream. You know, we think our lives should be fulfilling according to this world's standard of fulfillment, but God has a different plan. If we pour our lives out for the sake of others, it may mean much suffering, but the reward will be life in the Kingdom of God, righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. I am reminded of Jesus' words in Mark 10:29, "...Let me assure you that no one has ever given up anything...for love of me and to tell others the Good News, who won't be given back, a hundred times over...with persecutions." The giving out will mean suffering, but the giving back of God will by multiplied by 100!
You can’t reserve anything if you are a servant of Jesus Christ.

We don't imagine that this could mean our dreams! I'm sure that the girl in my dream imagined marriage as being about her dreams coming true, not about saving someone's life! Oh God, give us grace to really let go of our lives as the reward of your sacrifice for us!

 2004/10/23 8:21Profile

Joined: 2003/10/15
Posts: 1632

 Re: Chambers

Hi Dian! There are some individual books by Chambers but hard to find sometimes. There is a wonderful, huge book that is all of his works together! It's awsome. All of his sermons and everything. It's called The Complete Works Of Oswald Chambers (can you believe it! :-P ) and you can find it here:[url=]O.Chambers[/url]

I also really recommend his biography called Abandoned to God!!! So good!! It really gives you insight to what kind of man he was.

Very interesting dream, too!!

Thanks Riki, for posting this! This is excellent, something i needed to think about again too.

In Him, Chanin


 2004/10/23 10:33Profile

Joined: 2003/11/30
Posts: 78


Riki, this is so awesome. Where did you get it? I've looked for other writings by Oswald Chambers other than My Utmost, but didn't find any.

Chanin is right, I took it from "The complete works by Oswald Chambers". There is a CD-rom with all the material in digital format that comes with the book, so it was just to copy and paste. The book is just amazing, so many rich and profound writings gathered in one volume. To call it a bargain would be an understatement! If you think (like me) that "His utmost" is a true gem, then imagine this book... :-P

I was just reading Isaiah 53 today as one of my daily chapters, and then I also knew Chambers had written some comments on that chapter. So, I read it through, even though I had to stop several times to really reflect... Then I read the chapter in my Bible again and then his comments once more. I think what he writes is so wonderful. Here we have a true picture of what Christ is about! Where are we in regard to this? That is, where are we in regard to the crucified Christ...?

Rikard Eriksson

 2004/10/23 11:44Profile

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